Grab Philippines clarified Thursday it did not apply for a fare increase but proposed P5 “disinfection fee” per ride instead when its operations resume.
Brian Cu, head of Grab in the country, said the add-on would cover the cost of sanitizing vehicles to prevent the spread of coronavirus outbreak.
“We haven’t made any request to raise rates, however, we made a request to explore having a disinfection payment fee…The disinfection kits and disinfection measures is an added cost to the drivers,” Cu said.
“We made a proposal to LTFRB to raise the per-trip cost per fixed amount to help cover these, however, there is no decision yet,” he added.
The proposed P5 disinfection fee is not related to the per kilometer or per minute fares, Cu said. Currently, the cost of disinfecting vehicles is covered by Grab and the drivers.
Cu said he expects the COVID-19 crisis to “hit their [drivers’] income,” which could be offset by lower gas prices. He added commission would also decrease by 10 percent from 20 percent in the first month of operations to help Grabe drivers recover faster.
Grab Philippines transport head Ronald Roda said around 20,000 drivers are expected to hit the road once the government lifts restrictions for ride-hailing services.
Cu emphasized that Grabe drivers will not accept cash payment but only digital ones.
Grab would impose “higher hygiene standards” to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers when operations resume, Roda said.
“The focus is safety, we are leveraging all the tech necessary to make this happen,” Roda said.
The company also launched GrabProtect, which provides subsidized hygiene kits for drivers, online health checks, valid cancellations for passengers without masks, and driver safety retraining, Roda said.
Grabe reminded that only two passengers would be allowed per ride. Masks are also required for both drivers and passengers. Cars will be equipped with a barrier, and mandatory disinfection at the end of every trip is also needed.
Malacañang Palace said Thursday NCR (National Capital Region) is ‘”ready” to transition from MECQ to GCQ by June 1.